Monday, October 30, 2006

Australia - Firmly on the Environmental Axis of Evil

I can't believe John Howard is not whole heartedly backing the Nicholas Stern report on global warming by signing the Kyoto Protocol and getting on with finding the solutions for a sustainable future.

When Howard says he's not going to sign an international protocol on climate change unless the same limits are put on China and India, Australians should say with loud voices and raised fists that we could and should be world leaders on the solutions for sustainable uses of our land by giving it the environmental protection it deserves.

Howard suggesting in Parliament that it's somehow unfair that China and India don't have the same environmental constraints can be likened to the school yard - I'm not gonna pick up my rubbish because I know that the younger kids chuck it on the ground so why should I put it in the bin?

And if Howard thinks he's winning votes from farmers he's wrong. My friend Jacquie who works for the Environment Protection Authority in NSW has been meeting with farmers who have over worked and over grazed land for years. Farmers are passionate about their land and are worried for the future. Stern makes a reference to Australia in his report, saying that if the global temperature rises by 4 degrees, large parts of Australia's farm land will become arid.

You suck John Howard. To campaign for the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, click here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mufti...Meet Meat Cyborg

An open letter to Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali regarding his comments about likening women to pieces of meat that cats eat in back alleys.....

Dear Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali

You are like, well out of order. So, given that you think women are pieces of meat and to be objectified, I'd like you to meet Meat Cyborg. She's right up your alley-cat.

Mufti - hide behind your closed doors in the safety of your house of prayer, just like that fat old magistrate hid behind his bench, to say that women who wear short skirts deserve to get raped.

This is not about what religion you are, this is about women being human beings first. Religious leaders of all flavours objectify and blame women.

And it doesn't make it any better by saying you were only referring to prostitutes either.

I'll leave you with this thought...

"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on a woman."
—Nancy Astor
(the first MP in the House of Commons..)

Love ali b

Rise up women of Australia...Rise up! Let's put
Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali out to pasture along with Fred Nile and Alan Jones. They would love to play with Meat Cyborg in a paddock far away when no-one's looking.... She's got firm thighs and doesn't talk back.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Loreena McKennitt's "The Highway Man"

If you don't know Alfred Noyes' poem, this is the version by Canadian singer Loreena McKennet. Now you can read my version about the Iraq War further down the page...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Faithless No More

I want to believe Kim Beazley's comments to the ACTU congress that the Labor Party is the party of collective bargaining. After all the dithering, and so many in the party's bunker believing workers in unions are just another lobbying "interest" group, I really really want to believe he is genuine. For if behind closed doors, his inner circle is snickering and saying what a good job the unions are doing with the Your Rights At Work campaign, and that'll get us over the line at the next election, all he needs to do is blame a hostile Senate for not helping pass laws that protect workers rights.

The reality is, the only thing that will protect workers' rights, is workers standing together and collectively bargaining. It doesn't matter what the industrial instrument is. If workers collectively bargain, and collectively bargain across sectors, then that is what will even the balance between employer power and workers' power.

I've just been through an amazing four-week campaign for union recognition in a low cost airline company here in the UK. The company brought in the Burke Group - a US union-busting organisation that prides itself in a 96% success rate on winning a ballot in the employers' favour.

So it's the company and Burke Vs 350 mostly young cabin crew. The ballot is counted next week and it's been labour intensive, taking us away from other union campaigns. But this is about sewing up the sector and winning recognition for the right to bargain.

So Beazley's idea about a secret recognition vote is an interesting one. In the UK, if union members lose the ballot, you're union's out for three years. Nasty.

I'm interested to see what the response to Beazley's idea is about voting in a secret ballot if the employer refuses to bargain in good faith.

We now just need to openly have faith in Beazley that he seriously believes that the Labor Party is the party of collective bargaining and can take this as a major party platform to the next election.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tash hangs up the doctor marten's, doctor marten's, doctor marten's boots!

"I want to be remembered for being honest, for sticking to my principles"

Um, here am I, giving a speech..... about politics and principle and philosophy and life, and my shoes got the headlines, which I always thought was a bit bizarre."

See you later Tasha...your doc martens will be missed, but you and your party gave us the GST and I'm still angry about it.

I know you threatened to cross the floor when it came to books but you still were part of the team that gave us GST on barbecue, that was only pieces of bbq chicken. A whole cooked bbq chook didn't attract the GST, likewise a whole uncooked chook. A piece of chicken, uncooked and bought at the butchers was GST free, a piece of cooked chook in a box bought at a drive thru was GST and a chicken Mrs Mac's attracted the tax. I think.....

I've got myelf in a pickle now trying to understand it. Lucky you stuck to your principles though. A tax on knowledge! Shame on you John Howard and Meg "but you promised you wouldn't fuck it up Mr Costello" Lees!

You were the youngest woman elected to the Senate at the age of 12 and a half, so you can still come back once the kids have grown up. Maybe by then, the Democrats will be totally dead and you can join the Labor Party. You can run on a ticket with your child while they're still guild president of Adelaide uni....

Good luck Tash. Just make sure your seat doesn't go to a Lib. To see an ode to Tash by Alexei Sayle, click here


The War on Terror

The War on Terror
They think of next
Which noun to get the red coats marching?
Marching, marching!
King George’s men come marching,
The War on Terror is here

Twot-twot had they heard it?
The suicide bombs ring clear
Twot-twot in their ivory distance
Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down through the ribbon of highways, and over on the Hill
The NeoCons came driving,
Driving, driving!
The NeoCons look to refining. The oil shall be theirs.

Twot-twot in the people’s silence! Twot-twot in the people’s rights.
Our global march comes nearer! We will organise in the night.
Our eyes grow wide for a moment, we click on one last link!
Our fingers move on the mouse pad
Click away on the notebook’s mouse pad
Click to the online protest
The War on Terror is fear.

by ali b

Apologies to Alfred Noyes

To join an online protest for the closure of Guantanamo Bay POW camp, click here.
(I'm being ironic...)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

iPod therfore iAm.....iRate!

I have joined the iPod generation. It really is an amazing machine.

But.... The cacophony of tinny sounds eminating from the earphones of fellow passengers on UK public transport was enough to turn me to tune in and get an iPod of my own. A fellow passenger's iPod blaring from their ears is still not enough to actually hear what they're listening to. I was going mad..So rather than go iRate, I went iPod....and I rate it.

I didn't go the whole hog with the 60 gig though - the nano does me fine and it still has more memory than the computer my dad bought in 1987.

Apple has just announced a new iPod with proceeds going to the Aids effort in Africa. Check out the tips below for listening to your iPod on public transport....

invisible inkblot tips for listening to your iPod...

You should always remove at least one earphone to fart.
Whilst you may not hear the outcome, other passengers will. Keeping tabs on your noise pollution is polite. There's nothing you can do about the nose pollution, but if you control it properly, others will think it was the old bloke sitting next to you.

Resist the urge to air guitar down the aisle of the train.
During morning peak hour, when everyone is silent and contemplating doing their bit to pay the tax man, I frequently feel the need to dance up and doon the aisle singing "do iiiiiit.....take your mama out all night" in a high pitched voice. One day I just might.

Don't download "learn to speak French in your car" and actually think you're gonna listen to it on the journey to and from work. Don't kid yourself. Why listen to educational stuff when you can listen to the post-millennium disco resurrgence. Est-ce que mon dieu, pourquoi je n'ai pas étudié le français à l'école?
Don't break your iPod They're really quite expensive
Be prepared incase a mugger spots your white earphones. Keep an old walkman in your pocket with a Culture Club tape in it and hand it over if ever the need arises.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

China cruise for Langoustines

Dawnfresh, a Scottish company that fishes for langoustines in Dublin Bay, is sacking workers so it can ship its langoustines to China to be shelled by cheap labour, and then ship them back to find their way onto the shelves of Britain's fave duopoly, Tesco and Asda.

This is madness! The big thing here at the moment, apart from the revolutionary new concept of BYO shopping bags (they've only just cottoned on... er mind the pun) is Food miles. String beans from Kenya, Blueberries from Argentina and now the most well-travelled raw prawn you'll ever meet will wind up on your dinner plate with a stamp in his passport and a cheap handbag from Shinzen.

I can't believe that the amount of energy spent on shipping the langousintes to China and back can be less than keeping them in Scotland to be shelled by workers in the local community. Shame on you Dawnfresh!

And as for the stringbeans from Kenya, I've just read in the Guardian that 25% of the water in the great river of Ngiro and used by 100,000 people, is being sucked up by flower beds and vegetable patches for British shops. Another good reason to shop at the farmers' market.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Feminism - everyone should give it a try at least once, as long as you can get away from the laundry...

The first feminist I ever met was Mrs Winifred Banks from Mary Poppins. I just love the way she says to her servants that they should have been at the suffragettes rally....This is taken from the New Yorker:
When first we meet Mrs. Banks, she is dancing along the pavement outside her house, triumphant in her day’s accomplishments.
“We had the most glorious meeting, she tells her servants, after she bursts through the front door, singing.
“Mrs. Whitbourne-Allen chained herself to the wheel of the Prime Minister’s carriage. You should have been there! And Mrs. Ainslie—she was carried off to prison, singing and scattering pamphlets all the way!”
The servants, however, have news of their own: the reason that Katie Nanna, the children’s nursemaid, is wearing her gabardine travelling outfit is that she is about to quit. They finally manage to tell Mrs. Banks, and it is as though they’d stuck a pin in her; we watch her crumple before our eyes.
She snatches off her “Votes for Women” sashYou know how the cause infuriates Mr. Banks”and then does what any clear-thinking, intelligent woman in her situation would do: she begs. “Katie Nanna—I beseech you. Please reconsider. Think of the children, think of Mr Banks"

Sunday, October 08, 2006

First Past the Post

Welcome to the new blog. After much debate, I've called it invisibleinkblot but it would be remiss of me not to share where I got the idea. You can visit a blog name generator which comes up with the ideas for you.

I typed in Alison Bunting and here's what it came up with:

  • purple web
  • crumpled mission
  • jagged community
  • blank column
  • bum moments
  • pink thoughts and
  • green notebook
I think you'll agree that it was a tie between "invisible inkblot" and "bum moments". invisible inkblot won on a three game Rock, Paper, Scissor. My left hand is definately smarter than my right...

So, welcome to the blog. It's been a long time coming - thanks to Carphone Warehouse's broadband deal that took 4 months to set up. There are lots of links to other inkblot blogs where you can look at photos and read (short) entries about the countries Jock